A change is happening in search-engine rankings…again. (Feeling curious? Check out this cool infographic on the Visual History of Google Algorithm Updates). This most recent shift we’re now seeing relates to voice search. Voice search refers to those times you ask a question to your phone, your computer or another personal device instead of typing (i.e. when you talk to Siri, Assistant, Alexa, Dragon. . .or whatever you call that voice that mostly but doesn’t always understand you).
Voice search is drastically becoming a more common way that users perform web searches. Google reported that in 2014, 41% of adults use voice search at least once a day. One study shows that in 2015, 10% of all searches were done vocally, while Google claims that in May 2016, 20% of all searches were done by voice (that’s 20% of 100 billion daily searches). Additionally, new personal assistant devices, like Amazon Echo, as well as one being developed by Google, Google Home, are making and will make voice search even more prevalent.
So what does this mean to business? It means you need to ensure that your website is showing up in voice searches as well as (or better than) it does in typed searches. Google has implied it will soon record analytics on which search terms are being done by voice and how many were directed in that way to your website (much like it now divides mobile search and desktop search results), but until then, the best we can do as marketers is ensure our site is optimized for voice search so that we don’t miss out on this growing traffic.
Tips to Make Your Website Voice-Search Friendly
Probably the best way to ensure your site works for voice search is to perform voice searches yourself. Use your phone, a friend’s phone, an Amazon Echo or any other device you can access, and try searching various phrases. Where does your site rank? Why are other sites ranking above you? Use the information you glean to improve your copy, update your listings, or even restructure your site. And if you need help with any of this, feel free to call the team at A-LINE. Just be careful to tell Siri that you need the number for “A-LINE” (not “a lime,” like she insisted I was saying…).